2016 Distracted Driving Scholarship Winner: Nicole Spence
We asked Nicole about her experiences with distracted driving. Here are a few things she had to say:
Driving has always been a big part of my life. By age ten, I was making my own bus or flight arrangements and associated drop-off and pick-up logistics. It wasn’t until I was in my first motor vehicle collision that I really understood the risks. My mom threw her arm across me as she braced for impact, all I remember is her apologizing afterwards. Seven other incidents would follow, all as a passenger. My distrust in drivers grew, as did my back pain and road anxiety. Although distracted driving wasn’t a primary concern back then, these tragic experiences resulted in an extreme awareness of road safety.
Volunteering at the Victoria Brain Injury Clinic provided real life experiences to my academic understanding, and motivation to learn more about one of the leading causes of death. I believe the most effective way of overcoming distracted driving is through collective approaches at a systematic level (just look at the success of seatbelt laws!) with a strong emphasis on effective prevention strategies. And lastly, as the ultimate user – a pedestrian, cyclist, transit user, driver, and passenger, I have a vested interest in supporting road safety policies.